I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a huge fan of the Olympic Games, but rather of the Olympic hockey. The rest of the sports I can do without, but this article isn't about me, it's about Sidney Crosby.
There is of course, already debate about Crosby's overall impact on the Olympic win. With 4 goals and 3 assists in 7 games, his numbers were hardly stellar. But as is most often the case with tournaments like this one, which feature the best of the best, numbers tend to slide downwards.
Numbers aside, Crosby was the teams' number one centre for the entire tournament. When Rick Nash failed to benefit from any of the numerous golden feeds that Crosby provided him, changes were made. This seemed to ignite a spark on the forward lines of this team. Nash fit in well on a checking line with Jonathon Toews and Mike Richards, and found his scoring touch, as well as his defensive skills that we don't see as often in Columbus. The chemistry of Crosby and Iginla flourisihed with the addition of Eric Staal, and the lines that featured three San Jose Sharks on one, and two Anaheim Ducks on another, played extremely well.
It was no surprise that Crosby's numbers were not that high. After all, because of Canada's stumble out of the gate, dropping a point to the Swiss, followed by all 3 to the USA, Canada did not have the luxury of 2nd change through the knockout phase. This meant that all the toughest teams in the tournament could now match lines with the Crosby line at their will, and they did, to great effect. Canada however, had 4 lines of top quality players, not one, and the other 3 lines capitalized on not seeing the top checking lines of the Russians, Slovaks, and Americans.
But when all was said and done, it was Crosby, in the biggest game, with the biggest stakes, on the biggest stage, in the situation that pits more pressure on a hockey player than any other: Overtime. In the game to decide it all. It was here that Crosby solidified himself as a Canadian hockey legend. With one quick release of his wrists, he released the pride of a nation. The streets all over Canada were flooded with Canadians of all ages joyously celebrating a fairy-tale ending to their Olympics games. Long after the flag was raised and the anthem's chorus faded away, it could be heard in the Streets of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and so many other cities and towns all across this great nation.
This will do more than just give the nation a temporary lift, however. It has given a entire generation of children something to believe in. If a quiet kid form Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia can achieve such great things, maybe they can too. An entire generation of children now have their fantasy out there on the ice, or street just before they have to come in for dinner. Next goal wins. No doubt many of them will be pretending they are Sidney Crosby, with it all on the line for team Canada, on that small side street or rural pond somewhere in the depths of a classic Canadian winter.